Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) joined Rep. Ruben Gallego and members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus at a press conference this morning to oppose the legislative gimmick Republicans will use to avoid an up-or-down vote on funding for President Trump's ineffective border wall. Below is a transcript of his remarks:
“Rep. [Ruben] Gallego, thank you very much for inviting us to this press conference. I had a colloquy on the Floor with the Majority Leader last week, and I asked him whether or not we were going to have the issue of the border wall that was going to be open for amendment and open for debate. He did not answer that question, but clearly the answer was they’re going to hide it.
“Tomorrow, House Republicans will bring to the Floor a legislative gimmick to add $1.6 billion for a border wall in the minibus, which is four bills mainly dealing with security and with the legislative appropriations. It will not have a separate debate on the wall.
“This is just the latest of too many examples of a Republican majority that has rejected regular order. This is not regular order, to which they pledged themselves. Speaker Ryan specifically said they would pursue regular order, this is not regular order.
“Additionally, this would only pay for 70 miles. Imagine how much it would cost to build the entire wall that President Trump has proposed. A wall that most people along the border and many people in his own Administration say will be ineffective. Nevertheless, they want to spend billions of dollars on it.
“This wall will not make us safer. We, Democrats, believe that we need to have effective border security. We need to know who is coming into the United States. We don’t disagree on that. In fact, we have made it clear, particularly the Hispanic Caucus has made it clear, that that is a priority for us. This provision diverts resources away from our national security, not to it. It adds to deficits that put our country at great, long-term risk. This money would better be spent on our defense and on domestic programs that actually bolster our security, not weaken it.
“This is yet another broken promise from Donald Trump. Republicans have said taxpayers will not have to foot the bill. Remember, Donald Trump said the Mexicans would pay for this wall. That was an absurd representation. It clearly had no basis in fact and, in fact, the Mexicans have said we are not paying for this wall. This bill is an admission that Mexico will not pay for the wall. Another example of Donald Trump, talked a big game about making deals, but in the end he was full of hot air.
“I am proud to stand with Representative Gallego, Representative Filemon Vela, Representative Pete Aguilar, and so many others. As a matter of fact, I think all the Members of the Democratic Caucus believe this is bad policy and will oppose it. Thank you very much.”